University of Washington researchers are conducting a study to examine psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for healthcare clinicians with symptoms of depression and burnout related to the stresses of being on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lead investigator, Anthony Back, said their team is looking for doctors, advanced practice providers and nurses to take part in the clinical study.
“In this study, we are looking at psilocybin in particular to address the unique combination of depression, burnout, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, and moral injury that clinicians are experiencing now,” said Back.
Although magic mushroom-originating psilocybin was outlawed as a Schedule 1 drug in 1970, researchers say a new wave of studies beginning in the early 1990s demonstrate that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy works differently than existing antidepressants.
“This research builds on prior academic studies, but it also acknowledges the contributions of many indigenous wisdom traditions,” Back said.
The psilocybin in this study is synthesized by the Usona Institute as a pharmaceutical grade medication.
Clinicians who may be interested can check their eligibility for the study here.